The following article is concerned with applying the adaptive leadership in the issue of Aboriginal reconciliation and how it links to leadership by going through the 7 stages in Daglish book “Leadership, Understanding its Global Impact”, and how these steps are applied in light’s article.
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However it is important to first determine what leadership and Aboriginal reconciliation entails before examining its application ion the issue of Aboriginal reconciliation. Leadership is about influence i.e. leaders influence people to perform their duties effectively and enthusiastically. Leaders thus influences their followers to carry out their duties in a more cohesive and coherent manner so that they can achieve their objectives.
Adaptive leadership on the other hand entails the leadership that is aimed at changing the environment i.e. the leadership that is concerned with addressing the active leadership rather than passive one so as to change according to the situations. Both individual as well as groups have the ability to adapt in accordance with the circumstances.
Reconciliatiion is concerned with the act of enhancing unity as well as respect among people. The Aboriginal reconciliation in Australia was aimed at bringing respect between the Aboriginal and the non indigenous Australians.The reconciliation was aimed at bringing justice and equity to the people of Australia and adaptive leadership played a key role of ensuring its success.
Leaders engage in adaptive leadership by influencing their followers to adapt in accordance with the changes that occurs. The Aboriginal reconciliation helps to explain that leadership is concerned with the act of moving people to process challenging issues on their own rather than waiting t be directed.
Applying the adaptive leadership in the issue of Aboriginal reconciliation
The first step with regards to adaptive leadership as explained in the Daglish book is problem identification. The two types of problems that exist are the technical problems and adaptive problems. Technical problems refer to those issues that are clearly defined and their solutions are determined in advance. The problems are thus easily solved by experts as well as the leaders.
The problems are mostly concerned with such aspects as living standards as well as resource allocation. They can be solved by improving the living standards of people, ensuring that there is fair distribution of resources and also, the treasury should provide the solution by ensuring that people have disposable income so as to meet their needs. Adaptive problems on the other hand are the issues that are not clearly defined.
This entails that their solutions are not easily determined in advance and therefore, different people have different interpretations as far as the adaptive problems are concerned. They may be solved through the following i.e. enhancing dialogue between the conflicting parties e.g. the blacks and the whites in Australia, confession so as to seek for forgiveness e.t.c. (University of Microfilms, 1987, P.24).
Leigh in his article argued that adaptive leadership with regards to reconciliation should not be viewed as the duties of the elected officials or the aboriginal leaders but it is the duty of all the people to see that adaptive leadership indeed is enhanced (The University of Michigan, 1980, P.16).
The politicians as well as the aboriginal leaders too have the responsibility of ensuring that the adaptive leadership is enhanced but the greater responsibility lies with the citizens. Adaptive leadership in accordance to the Leigh’s article should not only aim at improving the living standards it should be aimed at changing other people’s attitude.
In order to achieve this, the technical work should be separated from the adaptive work. The main problem of the Aboriginal people is not about their living standards but the discrimination between the blacks and the whites. The adaptive leadership should aim at ensuring that both blacks and the whites continue to co-exist peacefully and that there is no discrimination. This will thus enhance reconciliation (Altman, & Hinkson, 2007, P.26-28).
The second stage with regards to adaptive leadership as explained in the 7 stages in Daglish book is Focus attention. This stage is concerned with the leader forwarding the problems.This stage requires both the leaders as well as the followers to put attention on the exact issues at hand so as to change the manner in which they have happened in past and to come up with a solution.
Andrew Leigh in his article outlined such as aspects as land ownership, stolen generations and standards of life as the ones that requires to be focused. With regards to stolen generations, the author explains that adaptive leadership should be used to bring the stolen generation’s home.
The Aboriginal as well as the Torres Strait Islanders had their children taken away and thus separated from the rest of their family members. With regards to living standards, the Aboriginal should be given a chance to have quality education, access to good health care, employment e.t.c. just as their white counterparts.
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There are increased school drop rates among the Aboriginal children and unemployment rates are also high as far as the Aboriginal are concerned. This issue has thus been the focus of attention as far as the reconciliation process is concerned. The Prime Minister has for instance argued that adaptive leadership should take its course in ensuring that the Aboriginal communities’ standard of living is enhanced.
With regards to land ownership, the Australian government was reluctant top issue the Aboriginal communities withy land rights and therefore this issue was the most outstanding as far as the focus attention was concerned. The most crucial component of adaptive leadership in this stage is the duty to be involved i.e. all the people should be involved in ensuring that the issues are addressed.
The third stage with regards to adaptive leadership as explained in the 7 stages in Daglish book is framing the issues i.e. all the people who are involved should understand that the issues are characterized with opportunities and problems too. According to Andrew Leigh’s article, all the stakeholders should seek to find frame the issue by ensuring that they are presented in the right time.
With this regard, time is considered as a crucial aspect implying that it should not be wasted. The adaptive leader should therefore involve people in getting adapted to the social issues at the right time. The adaptive leader should thus identify the core problems so as to discuss and resolve them. The leaders should present the issues so as to understand the people’s needs (Wolfensberger, & Race, 2003, P.43).
The fourth stage with regards to adaptive leadership as explained in the 7 stages in Daglish book is securing ownership. This entails that the all the people who are involved should be responsible for the issues. The adaptive leader should therefore involve all the stakeholders and also ensure that the teams have the right individuals.
Wit regards to Andrew Leigh’s article, both the blacks and the whites should be held responsible for the current problems. For reconciliation to be enhanced, both the blacks as well as the whites should do their work at personal level. The adaptive leader should thus encourage people from different races to blend in an effort to combat racial discrimination.
With regards to securing leadership, the adaptive leader should ensure that the Aboriginal communities are settled so as to ensure that justice is done and this calls for moving the whites into a discomfort zone (Adrinna, 2008, P.90). The whites should confess that they dispossessed the Aboriginals land, killed thousands of them, separated their children form their families, discriminated and excluded them.
They must acknowledge their ignorance as well as bias in order for reconciliation to take place. In other words, they must admit their responsibility in promoting injustice. In order for reconciliation to be successful, people must be prepared for the discomforts that come along the process. The stakeholders should confront truths and the adaptive leader should support them (Obolensky, 2010, P.56).
Mediating the conflict is the fifth stage with regards to adaptive leadership. Different stakeholders usually plays different roles in ensuring that solution is delivered.The adaptive leader should act quickly to resolve conflicts between the parties so as to move forward.
The adaptive leaders in Australia has for instance enhanced the interpersonal reconciliation through such organizations as the ‘Council for Aboriginal Reconciliation’ and Native Title Tribunal. The Native Title Tribunal has indeed enhanced peaceful coexistence between the Aboriginal communities, the pastoralist communities and the people who works in mining firms.
This tribunal provides people with an environment where they can discuss issues that affect them so as to facilitate the reconciliation process. The leaders should ensure that people build trustworthy relationships by providing them with the required skills and resources. The business communities and government has also been on the forefront as far as the reconciliation process is concerned (Heifetz, et.al.2009, P.82).
Generating productive distress is the sixth stage as far as adaptive leadership is concerned. Leigh in his article stresses that leaders should recognize that adaptive issues cannot be resolved instantly and rather that reconciliation is a long process. The leader should therefore create a discomfort environment that harnesses stress so that people can recognize the need for a change.
The leaders should also be careful not to overwhelm the stakeholders while generating the productive distress. With regards to Australian case, the adaptive leaders should aim at discomforting the white Australians (Safty, 2003, P.45).
The last stage of adaptive leadership is the creation of a safe haven. This means that when the problems tend to become counterproductive, the adaptive leader should slow down the rate of change so as to discuss the issues in a wider perspective (Daglish, & Miller, P. 2010, P.17-36).
The application of adaptive leadership in the issue of Aboriginal reconciliation a links to the 7 stages in Daglish book “Leadership, Understanding its Global Impact”. Leigh in his article has applied these leadership steps so as to provide the adaptive leaders with an insight on how they ought to go about the reconciliation process.
As a leader, it is important to distinguish between the adaptive leadership and technical leadership. Usually, many people have practical skills that are essential in handling the problems that emerges (Bowler, & Clark, 2005, P.61).
However, leaders needs to consider adaptive work once the practical work has been successfully completed and this is essential since it enables people to adapt in accordance with the varying environment. Many leaders have the problem of determining which work is important in a given stage or situation.
Adaptive leadership also requires that the leader remind their follows that the process of changing in accordance with the situations calls for thinking about the objectives to be pursued. The leaders once they successfully enabled their followers to change should also ensure that people are mobilized to become innovative. This will ensure that people are able to prosper in their endeavors in the future.
With regards to the 7 stages of adaptive leadership, the leaders usually gather adequate information before coming up with the decisions. Good leader usually admits whenever they make wrong decisions.Adaptive leaders take calculated risks.
The adaptive leaders are supposed to devise possible solutions for the problems that they have identified. The seven stages of adaptive leadership thus play a crucial role of guiding the leaders so as to enhance the reconciliation process (Randall, 2006, P.19).
Both the blacks and the whites have the responsibility of ensuring that the Aboriginal communities’ living standards are enhanced. There is the need for the whites to enhance dialogue with the blacks and also confess about the past injustices in order for the reconciliation process to be successful (Giber, 2009, P.53).
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